The first step was admitting I had a gun patch problem… and learning what to do about it.
I shoot guns for fun, I shoot guns for training and I also collect them. I don’t collect stickers like I did in the 2nd grade and I certainly don’t advertise that I have a gun by putting stickers on my car. When I became a firearms industry professional, I had no idea of the affinity for morale patches among manufacturers and fan boys.
A lot of guys collect patches from their favorite companies and display them proudly on their hats and jackets or wherever, but that real estate is limited. After a few months and several trade shows they started to pile up. Manufactures constantly send us swag, and more often than not these patches continually show up in packages. I was beginning to resent moral patches.
One day I was browsing Facebook and a friend of mine posted a photo of all his morale patches neatly displayed on a sheet of Velcro. I instantly thought, OMG… this is the answer to all patch pile problem!
I turned to Google and found all kinds of China made garbage here and there, but nothing I really fell in love with. So, I asked my good friend Chris at Lightfighter Innovations (LFI) to suggest a killer way for storing and displaying patches. Chris is one of those guys who does stippling and other custom work on guns and he seems to know everyone in the industry, so I knew he would have a good suggestion. He promptly referred me to Special Operations Gear (SOE). I learned from SOE’s website they’ve been making soft goods for over a decade, right here is the good ole USA. SOE is proudly owned and operated by John Willis in Camden, TN.
I placed an order on their website for an 18”x24” patch wall hanger in FDE and fully expected it to be to small. John emailed me back to confirm my order and before I knew it, it was in the mail. The turnaround was astounding as the wall hanger arrived just two-days later.
The first thing I noticed is that it did not stink like a lot of crap that comes from China. Second, it was folded in the package and had creases in the material. After laying it flat for 24 hours the creases disintegrated. I flipped it over and the first thing I noticed was a tag that said “Made in Motherfucking USA.” Hell yeah! They are proud of that and it shows in the quality and attention to detail. I can only imagine that if they put this much work into a patch mat, that their other gear such as belts, bags and pouches must equally be as good.
Either I don’t have as many patches as I thought, or the 18×24 is actually a lot of real estate to house all of your patches. I was left with plenty of room for at least another year’s worth of patches. Surprisingly, SOE didn’t include one of their own patches… THANK YOU!